Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray Review: A sleek and elegant Android phone
Timescape is Sony Ericsson's proprietary social media UI that brings your popular social network applications together in one place, including Twitter and Facebook. Foursquare, ShowNearby, Okut and mixi are also included for those that use these social network services. Just enter your account detaisl and make sure the phone is connected to the ineternat and it will display all the updates on the Timescape homescreen. Browsing through the updates is easy as they are arranged vertically, and you can go through the updates of individual social network services as well as check your call or messaging history via the icons on the horizontal bar.
Besides the standard Android Market application, Sony Ericsson also includes its own PlayNow store on the Xperia ray and it offers games, apps, music and sounds, ringtones, short messager service sounds and images (wallpapers). However, when we accessed the PlayNow store, we found the content to be very limited and unexciting.
The Xperia ray comes with WisePilot, an online mobile navigation service for mobile devices powered by NAVTEQ. Accessing the app will turn on the phone's GPS and it'll let you navigate, view maps, and even post to your location to social networks. Although it can provide text instructions or instructions in 2D or 3D route views, you probably wouldn't want to rely on the smartphone's screen, but the tone or voice instructions would be useful to tell you what to do and where to turn.
The performance of the Xperia ray proved to be pretty good, we ran Quadrant Standard, a CPU, I/O, and graphics benchmark for smartphones and it scored 1,703 points which is slightly higher than the Samsung Galaxy S and Google Nexus One. It's of course impossible for the Xperia ray to compete with newer dual core smarphones which scores in the region of 3000 points. Regardless, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is very responsive and offered an overall good user experience.
Most of the high definition videos we tested played well and looked great on the Xperia ray. Audio from the phone's built-in speakers was average, which we expected. But even if the smartphone does come with good quality audio, would you watch your movies or YouTube videos on the smartphone's display? Well, we find it too small to our liking. In terms of battery life, the Xperia ray offers over a day of normal usage before you need to recharge the battery.
The camera can capture images of up to 8 Megapixels (3264×2448) at a 4:3 aspect ratio. It's easy to access the camera options on the left and image and video gallery on the right side of the screen by simply tapping or swiping your finger across to bring up the menus.